As part of its proposed expansion in the Eagle Ford shale play, Houston-based Enterprise Products Partners (NYSE: EPD) recently announced plans to build a sixth natural gas liquids (NGL) fractionator at its Mont Belvieu complex.

South Texas shale play
The Eagle Ford shale play has huge potential for production. To capitalize on that, Enterprise has upped its operations in the region. Recently, Enterprise entered into a six-year deal with Anadarko Petroleum (NYSE: APC) to provide midstream services there. This adds to the deals it has with EOG Resources (NYSE: EOG) and Chesapeake Energy (NYSE: CHK)to provide midstream services in the Texas shale play.

Fellow Fool Isac Simon recently noted that total natural gas consumption in just the U.S. is expected to go up by 14% by 2035. It is apparent that Enterprise is taking steps in the right direction, and this has already started to be reflected in Enterprise's numbers.   

The numbers
In the last four quarters, revenues from its NGL pipelines and services segment have contributed 73% to the total revenues of $35.4 billion. Revenues from this segment grew 18.3% from a year ago.

Enterprise expects its fifth Mont Belvieu fractionator will be up and running by the end of the fiscal year. The sixth fractionator is projected to begin service in early 2013. At that time, Enterprise will have the capability to fractionate more than 450,000 BPD of NGLs at its Mont Belvieu complex, according to the company.

Overall, Enterprise has increased capital expenditure to $2.4 billion in the past 12 months, a major chunk of which is going directly into South Texas. With Enterprise generating over $2 billion in cash consistently from its operations and with an interest coverage ratio of 4.4, the company is comfortably placed to go after all sorts of growth initiatives like this one.

The Foolish bottom line
I see Enterprise's efforts in the Eagle Ford paying off in the long run, in the face of rising demand for natural gas. This should boost the company's top line and improve its profitability in the future.

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